Monday, April 19, 2010
SAN DIEGO Bus drivers in the Poway Unified School District say they'll fight to keep their school buses on the road next school year. The Poway Unified school board is considering eliminating or scaling back on bus transportation because of deep budget cuts.
District officials may lay off about 40 drivers. Currently, the district employs about 125 drivers.
Melina Battenburg is with the union that represents Poway bus drivers. She says doing away with buses all together would mean roughly 3,300 Poway students would have to find another way to get to school.
“The reality is not every parent is going to have the luxury of rearranging their schedules to take their child to school,” Battenburg said. “At the end of the day, there will be more children on the streets. There will be parents who will testify to that same issue. It's a hardship for them.”
Poway Unified School District officials say cutting back on bus transportation is one of many options they're considering. They say it could save the district up to $1.5 million. However, transportation for special education students will be protected. An official decision is not expected for the next several weeks. Poway is currently facing a $24 million state budget shortfall.